I've often said this job is a matter of feast or famine. There's either more than you could possibly write about or no stories to be found at all.
The trick of it is, though, you can go from famine to feast in a matter of minutes.
I spent much of Thursday afternoon doing some housekeeping tasks at my desk. I caught up on emails, did a bit of design, wrote up a few brief, submitted stories. I was basically marking time until I could go home for supper and then depart for my Fillmore Town Council meeting.
And then the call from Eric came. The state had made a huge accounting error and the counties were getting $200 million. What was Putnam County's cut?
So just like that, I had something that -- coupled with the meeting -- would occupy the rest of my day. I had planned all day for a nice, manageable eight-to-nine-hour day, and suddenly it was shot. I was going to work 13.
It's the nature of the beast, though, and at least this time it was good news that had me working long hours. I caught the positive reaction of several local officials that the county is going to be seeing an unexpected influx of $1.18 million, so they were nice conversations.
I even got to deliver the news to County Councilman Keith Berry, which was fun. I sometimes get used to delivering bad news in this job.
Friday was another animal altogether. I was putting the paper together, and as of 7 p.m. I already knew I was behind. I didn't need anything new on my plate.
But then I learned Walmart was closed because it had no power...
... and then there was a house fire in Edgelea ...
... and the bank in Belleville was robbed, so we needed to track that down.
I jokingly said I wouldn't get the paper done until 2 a.m. Sadly, I wasn't as far off as I'd like to thank.
After tracking down at least a few facts about each story, I wrote, got my pages designed, and finally put the final page to bed a lot later than I care to admit.
It was after 2 a.m. when I finally left the office.
I might have had thoughts of stopping off for a drink, but I figured the bars were closed.
Instead, I sit in front of this computer screen, a drink from my own refrigerator fizzes nearby.
I would love to tell you how glad I am to have the next two days off after a couple of crazy days, but I can't.
I just have to catch up on all the stuff I thought I'd be doing Friday instead of chasing fire trucks.